Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Week 26: Another visit to Ieper and 1/4 done!

[On being out a quarter of his mission] Wow, I guess I was waiting until the end of this month to call it 6 months because at the end of the month I’ll have been out 6 months in the land. That's 4 transfers. Feels good, finally got some time under my belt!

[About the attempted bombing at the Brussels Central Station] Ya, I heard about it, there was also something in Antwerpen. It's all normal. We got a text saying get home as soon as possible and don't use public transport. But they were just being overly cautious, it wasn’t too serious.

Something cool that happened was we were on our way to look up some less active members and there was one that lived pretty far away with the bikes. So, I wasn’t looking forward to that because he might not be home but as we were biking he came up behind us on the bikes and we talked for a bit and set up an appointment for the next day, so that was really cool.  We went the next morning and we asked if there was a time he would come to church and he was like how's tomorrow? So I said, ya sure! He has no car, so I called some members and got him a ride there and back. At church a lot of the members talked to him, he was smiling and it went really well! So that was awesome, oh, and I sat beside him too. He's a really cool guy.

There’s a lot of pictures about Ieper and I would explain all of them but it would take awhile, so if you don’t understand them just ask me. I'll put all the Ieper ones in a folder for Ieper.

1.  How is the training going? Are you being a good trainer and collega?  
2.  How are your bikes holding up, did Elder Furniss get a new bike?
3.  Did you travel anywhere this week?
4.  How is the language and gospel studying going?
5.  Does it feel like you have been out a long time? Is the time going by fast? Are you making good memories?
6.  How was your week divided up?  Do you mostly spend your time on finding?  teaching?  service?
7.  Do you feel like your receive inspiration on how to spend your time?

1.  Good, yes, yes I do all the cooking...

2.  Mine got really wrecked this week… it’s all fixed now but I broke a spoke and it got stuck in between two links of my chain and then the chain wrapped around that so it stopped my bike completely and I had to pull it out but right as I was doing that Bro Pace rolls by and tells us to come over. He lives not far so I pulled the spoke out and we went over and he fixed it all up for me! My hands were completely black, EF has a good photo I'll get from him. It took 15 mins to wash my hands clean!  and yes, he has a new bike which is working well for him.

3.  Gent, Ieper, Oostende, Gent a lot. Ugh Kortrijk and tonight I go on exchanges with the ZL's [zone leaders] in Antwerpen and then I stay for another night because we have zone conference there the next day. So I'll be away from home for a bit.

4.  Good and good. We havent had much time at all this week to fit in our studies though...

5.  Not really, I still feel like a greenie, but what's cool is I have been in the district now longer than anyone else. So that means everybody who is in it now was not there when I first came in, so that makes me feel old but I like it. Ya, it's going by fast and yes, lots of them.

6. A lot of less active look ups lately, that's the push we get from the ward. Not much door knocking for a while now! We also spend decent amount of time teaching investigators.

7. Ya, sometimes, more so during lessons, knowing what they need to hear and things like that.

Word is adembenemende which means breathtaking!

Elder Fernhout
A messy bike repair
Iepers Canadian Monument
Famous Hill '62
Menin Gate Memorial
A Great Great Uncle of Elder Fernhout
A Dutch relative?
The District
Elder Vanderwerff in the gap

The Canadians, Elder Fernhout and Elder White
Recruitment poster

Propaganda, "pretty good stuff"
Medieval Gate
COD has a game map just like this
Travelling to Ieper 
Tree that was shot up in the war

Monday, 26 June 2017

Week 25: Rijkswijk

Ieper was awesome. We are actually going back next week, I think, with one of the members from there. He knows all about it, so he is going to lead us around all day. It's a full day thing, so I might not get emails in on Monday, we will see.  Proselyting clothes and ya, the rule is to wear them on pday if you aren't doing sports but we wore them because originally we went to Gent to do sports then ended up going to Ieper last minute.

Sounds like things are good at home. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on stuff at home but I really do feel I am doing the most productive thing I could be doing right now, being out on a mission!

Word of the week is LEKKER, it means DELICIOUS but people use it al the time, for example slaap lekker means sleep deliciously, directly translated and I think that's awesome.

1.  How was Rijkswijk?  Visits to any other cities to see investigators?
2.  Did Elder Furniss get his bike repaired?  How is your bike?
3.  Are you still writing in your journal every night?  I think that is a great goal!
4.  How was church today?  What are the demographics of the members in Gent?
5.  How is the teaching going?
6.  Any funny experiences?  Missions seem to be good for those, haha!

1. Awesome! The best part was we did it on transfer day and we were going through the main station where there was a ton of other missionaries. Also because Gent was being white washed, all 4 missionaries were leaving, so we slept the night in Gent at the other elders. We know them all pretty good and one of them was Elder Tanner, who is one of my best friends in the mission! In the morning we got ready to go and we helped Gent with all of their bags and bikes. We traveled to Antwerpen which is where there were a ton of missionaries. EF and I hopped on a train north with a pack of missionaries being transferred to Nederlands. We rode up with a bunch of the dying missionaries, Elder Kauer included, who I've gotten to know pretty well. It was fun, they were all confused on their feelings, if they were excited or nervous or sad or happy.  Anyway, we got off in Den Haag then traveled to Rijswijk. We were supposed to go up with another 2 sets of missionaries but their greenies forgot their passports haha, so they had to travel all the way back from Antwerpen. Shout out to Elder Furniss for remembering his! So we found the office in Rijswijk and they said their system was down and it might not be running until tomorrow! I told her we came all the way from Brugge! So while we waited we went to a nearby mall and got some food and I looked at cameras in an electronics store. I was thinking we might have to sleep over in the Netherlands and one of the closest areas is Delft... that's where Matt is serving and was pumped that we might have to stay there, but we went to the office and the computers were all good to go. So we did that then traveled all the way home.

2. Kinda, yes, then it has other issues so he is actually getting a new one today from another pair of missionaries. Mine works fine! I love my bike.

3. Haven't missed a day.

4. Good, really hot inside! Ya, there is a decent amount of youth, a lot of old people.

5. We found a new investigators this week! He was a referral and lives 2.5 hours away, but we had a really great lesson with him and shared a BoM and he said the prayer at the end. He said he'll come to church! O is also progressing but he is so busy, so we have a hard time making appointments, but we have one later today with him!

6. Uh not much, well, we had a stack of over 100 extra pass along cards from Christmas. There were a loooooooot of cards. Earlier today there was a massive bee in our apartment, so I decided to kill it with the cards by throwing them and I included a photo of the result.

Yes, that is the mitraillette I was talking about, sooooo good! Gotta get it with Samurai sauce.

love elder fernhout

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Week 24: A Week of Service

Well, I already told you about transfers [he messaged yesterday that he is staying in Brugge with Elder Furniss]. Yes, callings always help to grow. Especially when we think we are not able to do it and then we try and it always works out! God qualifies who he calls! Also good to hear you had the elders over! Was it hard to get them or do they not have many dinner appointments? I bet they were glad you sent them home with food! One of the members here gives us 3 grocery bags of food every week, she is so nice! and she usually has us over and she cooks for us.

Not until December!!! [is there another national holiday].  I don’t believe that they have a holiday here every week for something random, haha. Yes, Ieper is Ypres, haha. It was really cool [he went there on a PDay excursion].

You'll see photos of my slipper that I sewed. I think I did a decent job, I mean it's still holding up! Also, I agree with Tyler when he says that Muslim people are the nicest ever.  It is so true, we met one and he invited us in and sat us down and made us tea. I asked for mint and he went and picked fresh mint leaves from his garden, it was the most delicious tea I ever have had! He also gave us chocolate and peanuts to eat while we talked, so nice!  I have a strange desire to learn Arabic now! Anyway, when we left he told us that if we ever need anything to call him first and he meant it too. He's awesome.

1.  What is the transfer news?  What is changing in your zone or district?  Do you know what is happening with Matt?
2.  Are your district meetings and zone meetings conducted in English or Dutch?
3.  You went to Brussels this week?
4.  How is the cooking going?
5.  How did the work go this week?
6.  Is your bike holding up?
7.  Did you get your parcel and the Amazon order from Germany I sent?
8.  Any funny stories this week?

1. I'm staying with my greenie, Elder Tanner is sadly leaving... I don't know about Matt.

2. They are in English but there are parts that are in Dutch.

3. Ya, Brussels was fun as usual, we went there to figure out Elder Furniss' legal papers because he is a greenie. Afterward, we got this really good food called mitraillettes, and they were great.  Then we picked up a waffle because there is this great place, then we headed back home to Brugge. Good trip. EF got to see his MTC group which is fun.

4. Good! I have made burritos and chili and friets and nasi and spaghetti and a few other small stuff.

5. Slow because there wasn't a whole lot of time to do things because it was a week of service for us! We did about 16 total [hours?]. 13 one day when we helped this member move her house. She has 5 cats and 1 dog, which is blind, and by the time we were done she had 3 cats and a blind dog. 2 of the cats ran away and we tried to find them but they were goooone! Sad, she was really distraught... We did a lot of work that day and carried a lot of heavy stuff because she had so many cabinet things. Also, the stairs in Europe are crazy and most of the time to get furniture to the second floor you have to go through the windows but we managed with the stairs. Funny because stairs in Dutch is trap and here they really are a trap! Then, a day after that we helped a YSA in his dad's backyard with weeds and things. It was a really hot day and I got burnt a little, but it was fun!

6. Well! Not like EF whose bike is falling apart every week. You'll see a funny pic I took of him with his bike and the seat fell off while he was riding and he was going no handed! I was in front and I heard this sound like his whole bike fell into pieces and were bouncing on the ground, I looked back and saw him on his feet catching himself and his bike tumbling behind him. It was really funny actually, haha.

7. Not yet, next zone conf which I am not sure when that is. Did you send the one from online to the apartment? [No, to the mission office]

8. Ya, the bike thing was really funny, also had some good laughs moving with Bro Plovier and another Bro Sys.

I think that's all, bye!


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Week 23: The time is flying by


Yup, Pinkster Monday as they call it [Sunday and Monday were holidays]. They pretty much just take the day to chill and have a day off as far as I know. Ya, it is the same church I am pretty sure [that claims to have a piece of cloth with Christ's blood on it and put on the parade]. But they had people participate from all over, even if they were not part of the church. I'm pretty sure a bunch of schools helped out.

I did get a bunch of money back from the mission so that's good.  I am also really happy with my clothes right now and don't need anything but I might get a new pair of pants soon.  They are really nice here and good quality.

Haha, ya, I did read it! [Nick referring to Jeff's letter where he ran into a mean Belgian while serving in Argentina].  I wish he knew just even a little bit of Dutch to speak. Ya, ha people are harsh but I think it's funny, I don't mind at all.  In district meeting this week an elder shared an acronym that I like, it's yaiaroyf, which means "your attitude is a reflection of your faith," pretty straight forward stuff, but true.  If you are always down and negative then you might be low on faith... so I try to always stay positive! I am honestly enjoying this mission so much, slammed doors and all. We are just searching for the people who are prepared and to do that you have to sift through a lot of people who are definitely not prepared. But when you find those people who are, it is all worth it.

Ya, I read about that in the paper [terrorist attacks in the Britain].  Scary.  I feel safe though, so it's all good. Except for all the spiders here; I went to sleep one night and decided to do a spider check and there was one on the wall right above where I sleep!  So now I do it every night.  There are spiders everywhere here this time of year.  All the hedges are just full of webs and spiders... [in summary, he is not afraid of terrorists but Belgian spiders, yes].

We had a really good lesson with O this week. We also had a joint teach who did really good and O responded to his answers really well. We shared the Arabic BOM with him and he was pumped it was in his mother tongue. It felt funny as I read part of the intro with him because I opened the Arabic one and asked if it said intro and he was like ya... it was just funny because I couldn't find any scriptures. But he was following along with me as I read. He said he's really gonna try to come to church this Sunday!  I hope he does.  He might have to work though.  We shall see.  That same day we were at the train station and I saw this guy who looked really confused so I asked if I could help and I sorted out his problems then left. This old lady saw and came over to us and said "I've met your president." In my head I was like she probs doesn't even know who we are. She was like "ya, I met him in Amsterdam 40 years ago." Still unconvinced, I asked his name and she responded "Kimball."  She met the prophet!!!  It was so cool to meet someone who met the prophet 40 years ago.  It just shows you the impact they have too.  She remembered that and from the smile on her face as she said it, I think she enjoyed it. She also told us that he took her baby boy in his arms and blessed him!  So sick! It was cool to see the effect he had on this old lady who wasn't a member so long after he died. Prophets are awesome.

Word of the week is kaput, which is what you say about something when it is broken.  Like "the car is kaput." We kinda use it in English but they use it all the time! Pronounced ka-put.

Questions from home:
1.  How did your exchange to Brussels go this week?
2.  How is the church in Gent?  Do you have a job in the ward?  What time does your ward start?
3.  Are people generally nice to you?  Do you come across mean people?
4.  What do the people do for Whit Sunday and Whit Monday?
5.  Dinner appointments this week?  Are your cooking skills improving?  Should I send more recipes?
6.  How did the work go this week?
7.  Transfers must be coming up soon?!  When will you know if you are staying or being transferred?
8.  What do you find the easiest/most fun about doing missionary work?  and the hardest?
9.  Any funny collega stories?

1. It was awesome, we had a really really cool miracle.  We were in the church there looking up addresses and we were done, so we walked out the door and as we did that a young-ish man came up to us and said he needed help, kinda distraught looking.  He said he just felt like he needed to come to this church. So we said, ya, we can help you and took him into the church into a side classroom and got to know him a bit. He's from Britain and is now living in Belgium.  He was at work but just really needed to come talk to us, so he searched the LDS church online and drove right over.  He told us he is sick of the cycle he is in life right now of not really doing anything good.  He sits around and when he feels bad he goes to the bar and he doesn't like it anymore.  He has read some scriptures from the Bible about Jesus and every time he does he feels really good, so he thinks that more religion is what he needs in life.  We had a really good first lesson with him and shared a bunch of scriptures from the BOM and he said he'd read and come to church.  He said he feels really good.  He told us he knew the Mormons because his sister, who lives in Denver, was going through a divorce and her friend was LDS and got a bunch of people together to help her move and she was so impressed with all these people who just wanted to help!  So he knew us from her.  He also said that about 5 years ago he was walking to the bar to get drunk and the elders cornered him and tried to talk with him but he pretty much wrote them off.  Just shows you that no effort is wasted!  Other than that we had a really delicious dinner appointment with this Italian family and had another great lesson that night.  It was a really good exchange.  EW is awesome.

2. Well you know there's no church here now, it's in Gent but the members from Brugge are doing alright I guess.  There's still a lot who are solid and come every week but a few who come every other.  I have no job in the ward, there's like 150 people, so there's no need to for missionaries to do stuff.  Just the one ward meets there. Church starts at 10.

3. Ya, people are generally pretty nice, the meanest are the people we meet at the doors. But we get shut down a lot during street contacting too! I think we come across more annoying.

4. Nothing I think.

5. Yup a few, there was this family and the wife's brother just died so I asked if there was anything we could do for her and she said "nothing, just come over for dinner." It was so kind of her during this hard time in her life! So nice, the members who come are really solid. We have another one too, so a few this week, and we had 2 last week. Ya, I am getting good at cooking now! I have now improved my meals from plain rice or mashed potatoes to chili on rice and we have had some really good spaghetti and I made a stir fry so it's going a lot better. When you send them I take a picture with my camera so it works well.

6. It wasn't too great. We had a weird week. Almost no time to do any work and the one day we did, we had 4 appointments and 3 fell through... sad. But the dinner appointment stuck so that was good! Other than that we had random things like interviews with prez which takes almost all day and we had exchanges and we had to go grocery shopping not on a pday because we got a bunch of money finally.  We ended up having to walk forever with a crap ton of weight of groceries, it sucked.

7. Ya, they are coming, next week Wednesday I think. This transfer went by super fast!  I will know then.

8.  I enjoy talking with members in Dutch in church before the meetings start. I also enjoy door knocking because it's so random, haha! Hardest for me is street contacting; I also don't like asking members for dinner appointments.  I feel bad doing it but it's what you are supposed to do.

9. Haha, well this happened while he was on exchanges... So I wasn't with him but he was in this field with the other elder and EF jumped this ditch to scare some cows and ended up falling in the ditch which was really deep.  He said it was soft and cushony but he got an extremely bad allergic reaction to all the plants in the ditch! He sneezed 211 times in an hour and his eyes closed shut, almost.  They were also not in Brugge and he had to sit on a hot sweaty bus for an hour while he was dying of his allergies.  He has a good attitude about it and thinks it's really funny.  I saw a video of it which is hilarious.  He is doing well!

Love you too,

Elder Fernhout

Windmill, Brugge
Windmill picture stop in Brugge
Brugge bike paths

Gravensteen Castle, Gent